Michael Jordan’s 1984 Nike Air Ship Shoes Sold for Record-Breaking $1.42 Million at Sotheby’s Luxury Sale

The sneakers worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan early in his career have fetched a record-breaking $1.42 million in Las Vegas. Jordan wore the white and red Nike Air Ship shoes during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984.

This year marked the beginning of the athlete and sports brand’s illustrious collaboration, which resulted in the creation of distinctive shoes and apparel. This deal laid the groundwork for the numerous player-brand relationships that have occurred thereafter.

“The most valuable sneakers ever offered at auction – Michael Jordan’s regular season game-worn Nike Air Ships from 1984 – have just sold at $1,472,000 in our luxury sale in Las Vegas,” the Sotheby’s tweeted.

The shoes were expected to fetch between $1 million (£730,000) and $1.5 million (£1.09 million) at Sotheby’s Icons of Excellence and Haute Luxury Auction at Las Vegas’ ARIA hotel.

“To present such a groundbreaking and important pair of sneakers at this special auction in Las Vegas further solidifies the strength and broad reach of the sneaker collecting community.”

“This record-breaking result for the Jordan Nike Air Ships affirms the place of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan franchise at the pinnacle of the sneaker market.”

 

The “Air Ship” was developed by Bruce Kilgore and was Michael Jordan’s first NBA professional basketball shoe. According to Sotheby’s, the size 13 sneakers are in “good overall condition, consistent with signs of wear.”

As described in their website, “These White & Red Air Ships are a remarkable artifact in the history of sports and basketball, and have been kept in excellent condition by the Denver Nuggets Ball Boy they were originally gifted to, Mr. Tommie Tim III Lewis.”

However, the Jordans are not the priciest pair of sneakers ever sold.

In April, a business called Rares purchased a pair of Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 shoes for $1.8 million (£1.31 million) at a Sotheby’s private sale.